Some people seem to have an easy time figuring out what they need to do and then executing the planned actions, whereas other people are often distracted and find it difficult to persist in activities until they are completed. Although several internal (person-based) and external (situation-based) factors influence people’s success at completing activities, an especially critical internal factor is action-state orientation. Action-state orientation (ASO) is an individual difference variable that shapes the extent to which individuals are successful in setting and accomplishing their goals. It has been long recognized that obtaining goals involves several important steps. The first step includes deciding on an action to pursue, and the subsequent steps include planning and acting on the selected action. However, people differ in how efficiently ...

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